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TV Show Throwback: Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Hi, Caroline here! Many wonder how I came to be the resident pop culture expert and enthusiast that I am. The answer: I grew up sitting in front of the television. I have consumed so many hours of TV programming and movies, probably to an unhealthy level. So if I’m going to be stuck home for the rest of my senior semester, I might as well take a walk down memory lane and rewatch and rehash some episodes of my favorite childhood TV shows to distract myself from the state of the world. In this series, I will be watching the pilot episode of my favorite childhood TV shows and seeing if I still think they are great.

Today is Nickelodeon’s first time on the series, and what better way to commemorate this moment by reviewing one of Nick’s classic shows: “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” With classes online now, I thought this would be a good excuse to reminisce  about what it’s like to sit in a classroom and learn something. If memory serves me correct, this show is basically just like “Community,” but for kids and maybe even better. For those who need a refresher, the show follows Ned Bigby and his two best friends (Moze and Cookie) who try to do the impossible: create a guide that will help you survive school. This is the show that made school actually look fun, and I wanted nothing more than my school to be like James K. Polk Middle School. Unfortunately it was nothing like it, but I always had this show to fall back on. Coconut Head, Backpack Boy, Loomer, and Suzie Crabgrass may have never gone to our schools, but I think we can all agree that it felt like they did. I think I learned more about life from this show then I actually ever learned in school, so good job Nickelodeon.

Viewing Notes:

1. I still remember the beginning monologue Ned says before every episode 

2. Another theme song that slaps 

3. They really shot this like a documentary/infomercial

4. I also forgot this shows love of sound effects

5. Our first tip of the episode: avoid overstuffing your backpack 

6. Coconut head is still a style icon 

7. Do we ever learn where Ned gets all of his great tips? 

8. Moze is looking for a new best friend who is a girl, this will result in some comedic moments 

9. I forgot Cookie’s glasses were also a computer and he’s also an expert level hacker. I am pretty sure they never explain this. 

10. This is the first show so far where the main characters dress like normal kids 

11. The first teacher we have meet in the woods hoop teacher Mr. Chopsaw, a great name and a great teacher 

12. Moze has just sent Mr. Chopsaw to the emergency room for drilling a hole in his hand. 

13. The second part of the episode is about lockers

14. And of course Ned’s locker is full of tips 

15. I FORGOT ABOUT THE TOOT TOOT KID. This show really made a character’s whole personality about farting.

16. The faculty at this school were truly crazy and probably better than any middle school teacher I had 

17. Janitor Gordy and his show-long feud with the weasel was a show highlight 

18. In a wild west theme showdown, Moze and Susie are you trying to one up each other in locker decorations 

19. Susie is currently winning

20. One tip of Ned’s that I still remember to this day is presetting your locker lock for the first two numbers so you only need one turn to open it. I have no idea why this tip has stayed with me for all these years but it has. 

21. I think Mr. Sweeney is the reason I was afraid of science classes

22. The running gags in this show are actually really funny 

23. I forgot Moze was great a wood shop 

24.  Ned spent the entire episode trying to find a different locker and is now stuck next to Loomer, the school bully. Comedy. 

25. The gag reel at the end of every episode was a great touch.

This show is still pretty funny and the tips are still useful! I very much enjoyed watching it again and wish the show did a college edition because that would have been helpful. I think what this show did best was make weird and silly characters lovable and relatable. Every person watching this could relate to one or more characters’ experience dealing with middle school, a truly terrible time in everyone’s childhood. This show loved to turn stereotypes of the kids you went to school with on their head and show that everyone was dealing with the same things you were. The final episode, “The Field Trip” is still an iconic moment in pre teen televion history and no one can convince me otherwise. So my tip today would be to go back and watch “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and celebrate the fact that you no longer have to suffer through middle school.

Caroline Ferrari is a senior at Emmanuel College and is majoring in Communication and Media Studies and minoring in Politcal Communication and Writing. She is the Treasurer for Her Campus even though numbers have scared her since 4th grade math class. She is the pop culture expert on her family's trivia team and her Netflix account is her most prized possession. Her ultimate dream is to work for Entertainment Weekly so people have no choice but to listen to her opinions on movies and tv shows.
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